Phew! Another ill-advised trip out into the blazing afternoon sunshine saw my dwindling moisture reserves sweated off in no time at all. The bottle of water in my bag was HOT. Only after a trip to Tescos to frantically stock up on orange squash (to make ice lollies), juice, & fizzy water did I remember the icy cold bottle of Ramune sitting at home in my fridge.
I had never heard of Ramune (ra-moo-nay) until yesterday, when I happened upon it in the Chinese supermarket. I was immediately struck by the unusual shape of the bottle - sort of like an alien elephant-bishop wearing a gas mask. There were no clues on the label as to what flavour it was, but a short amount of research at home revealed that it was a Japanese 'lemonade style' fizzy drink.
But that's not all I discovered. You see, there's a reason for the crazy shape. Ramune bottles are sealed with a glass marble, held in place by the pressure of the CO2. To open it, you have to push the marble back down into the bottle (with a loud POP), where it will then remain for all eternity, rattling around. Awesome! I even found instructions. Oh, how I love instructions...
If I'd known how much fun it was going to be, I'd have bought more. Cold pop sprayed out all over the place, leaving me no choice but to hang out of the window until it subsided. What an amateur. But check it out! There's the marble! Woooooo!
Original flavour Ramune doesn't taste like lemonade at all. It's more like bubblegum, only less sweet, and very refreshing. The indentations in the bottle neck hold the marble in place while you drink - it's genius.
You'd be forgiven for thinking that this was some kind of futuristic contraption. In actual fact these bottles have been around for over 100 years, invented by an English cork-manufacturer named Hiram Codd. Old 'Codd-neck' bottles are worth loads of money because of naughty children smashing them to get at the marbles. I'm keeping mine.